150 episodes

Get an insider's perspective on the most interesting objects in the collections of the Kansas Museum of History. Each biweekly episode features a different curator talking about a different object, always something featured on our web site. It's the best of our nation's history--not just Kansas, but important events for the whole United States. There's something for everyone, from the Civil War to the Cold War, Abraham Lincoln to Amelia Earhart, tornadoes to travel. You can access the full stories (with images) on the Web at http://www.kshs.org. Just look for the Cool Things link.

Cool Things in the Collection, Kansas Museum of History Kansas Historical Society

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0, 22 Ratings

Get an insider's perspective on the most interesting objects in the collections of the Kansas Museum of History. Each biweekly episode features a different curator talking about a different object, always something featured on our web site. It's the best of our nation's history--not just Kansas, but important events for the whole United States. There's something for everyone, from the Civil War to the Cold War, Abraham Lincoln to Amelia Earhart, tornadoes to travel. You can access the full stories (with images) on the Web at http://www.kshs.org. Just look for the Cool Things link.

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
22 Ratings

22 Ratings

PillDr95123 ,

It's been great

Hate to see this stop ... so sad!!

karner+blue+alb ,

amazing!! always great to have a new episode

I've been listening to this podcast since day 1 and I love it. I have no reason to want to know anything about Kansas but this show is so fantastically interesting that I want to visit some of sights that they talk about.
You can tell the staff featured on the show LOVE what they do and have a real passion for the work they do.
Love it!

Teresa Jegelewicz Mayfield ,

Bewitched

Using the search term ‘museum’ then browsing through iTunes podcasts, Cool Things in the Collection by The Kansas Historical Society immediately caught my eye. Who doesn’t want to find out more about ‘cool things’? I was then pleasantly surprised to find that this podcast has been produced bi-weekly since April 2006. I decided to listen to a recent recording and selected Bewitched, which was published in January 2011 and its topic, or ‘cool thing’, is a pencil sketch of Elphaba, The Wicked Witch of the West drawn by Gregory Maguire, the author of the Oz spin-off novel Wicked.

This podcast is very professionally produced with an intro spoken over music by Assistant Curator Murl Riedel who may moonlight as a professional movie trailer voice actor. It is approximately thirty minutes in length and devotes the first third to the ‘cool thing’ with a discussion between Mr. Riedel and Registrar Nikaela Zimmerman. There are two other segments in the episode, both of which include the addition of Education Specialist Mary Madden. They include a discussion of the new exhibition 150 Things I Love About Kansas and a recurring segment called Six Degrees of William Allen White, which is a play off the Kevin Bacon game and I will confess had me researching Mr. White after I finished listening to the podcast. The episode concludes with the six degrees challenge for the next podcast along with music, information about the podcast, Kansas Historical Society and its various web and social media contacts. The podcast is reminiscent of the NPR show All Things Considered, and I found it to be very engaging and informative.

Just for comparative fun, I went back in time and found an episode from March 2007 titled Flying Monkeys. Although produced almost four years ago, it was very similar in format and production style and ended with the six degrees segment. This demonstrates that these podcasts were well planned from the beginning and they must be accomplishing their goal as they remain popular enough for production to continue for such an extended period of time.

Through the use of contemporary music, professional production, knowledgeable museum staff and a familiar, appropriate format, the Kansas Historical Society has created a series of podcasts that any museum should envy. They create interest in the museum’s collection and connect the objects to Kansans and their history. They stand on their own outside the museum, but could also be a wonderful addition to a museum visit. Native Kansans, transplants, visitors, and even those who just want to hear some interesting stories will enjoy these podcasts. They certainly support the museum’s mission “to assist the public in understanding, appreciating, and caring for the heritage of Kansas” (Kansas Historical Society). If I travel to Kansas for any reason, I will make an effort to visit one of the Kansas Historical Society sites thanks to the fabulous way they have chosen to share their ‘cool things’ through these podcasts.

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